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TRAVEL GUIDE: Subic, Zambales

We love being a fire family because we get to see different towns and cities in the Philippines. Where Daddy A is assigned, we go! The only downside is, Daddy A’s schedule is super unpredictable. He can’t just leave any time–even on his birthday.

Last November 8th, he celebrated his 30th birthday. My first plan was to throw a surprise party at his station. But knowing him, I know what he wants most is some down time with us, his family. November 8th was also a busy day for him, with one meeting after another.

We’ve been to Subic, Zambales a couple of times already, but we haven’t been there as a complete family. Our trips there before were also activity-packed so I thought I’d create a family-friendly itinerary that’s fun for everyone and will allow us to relax as well.

His only available weekend was the one before his birthday. As soon as Daddy A confirmed his schedule is clear, I booked our accommodation and planned our trip.

Our Family Trip to Subic


Airbnb Subic Apartment with the rainforest in the backyard

We have a favorite beach-side hotel in Subic. However, this time around, I wanted to try something else. The hotel we usually stay in is located in a busy area; so this time, I looked for a more serene, isolated location. I’ve never tried Airbnb before, but have heard so many good reviews about the homes for rent there. I decided to do a little search and found the perfect rental home for our 3-day vacation: A Rainforest Apartment Near the Bay.

At Php 3,025 a night, we found ourselves a quiet home that’s just a few minutes away from Subic’s main attractions. Its white-washed walls had a calming effect on us; and we love that we have a whole rainforest on our backyard. The apartment has an airy living and kitchen area complete with everything you need to cook, eat, and hang out. There is one bedroom with two double beds, but no television–which is good because that forced us to look to nature for entertainment. The apartment has internet connection, but I doubt you’d use that with the grand view surrounding the home.

Although located by a main highway, the neighborhood is very quiet. Our days were filled with the beautiful singing of birds in the rainforest, while crickets sang us to sleep at night.

I love how relaxing our whole stay was. We didn’t want to leave! Not even the minis!


We arrived in Subic on Friday afternoon. Since we came from a long drive, we decided not to do any activities that day. Besides, the apartment we rented was so relaxing it immediately invited us all to find a comfy spot each and sleep. We woke up in the evening and went on a quick grocery run for our food the whole weekend. There is a grocery near the apartment, but I suggest that you go a little further to Puregold for more affordable finds.

Early the next day, we brought the kids to Zoobic Safari. The zoo opens its gates at 8:00 am–it’s recommended that you go there as early as that to avoid the crowd. If you’re going to Subic with your kids, this is a must visit! The minis really enjoyed our tour around the zoo, wherein they got a chance to feed animals, take part in the animal show, ride inside an enclosed jeepney around the Tiger Safari, feed crocs, and so much more!

Zoobic Safari provides a one of a kind experience for guests with their close encounters with animals.

Our tour around the zoo took more or less three hours. If you’re going to visit Zoobic Safari, be sure to bring lots of water and extra clothes. Expect long, hot walks around the huge enclosure!

Zoobic Adventure Entrance Fee (as of 2016)
Adults – Php545
Kids not over 4 ft – Php445
Kids not over 3 ft – Free

» Get discounted rates by booking via this link! (I will get a commission if you book through my link. This won’t cost you extra!) «

Additional Expenses (as of 2016) *optional:
Food Basket (for feeding animals in the petting zoo) – Php100
Food for Tiger Safari – Php200 (If you’re with another group in the jeep, you may opt to share this price.)
Food for Croco Loco – Php50

After our Zoobic Safari adventure, we took the kids to Ocean Adventure for some under-the-sea fun. We were unable to check out all the attractions since we arrived later in the afternoon, but we did see all the shows.

Get a chance to meet friendly sea animals close up at Ocean Adventure.

The highlight of our tour here is our family’s close encounter with dolphins and sea lions. Although the shows are free, you may opt to pay extra for close encounters with the animals.

Strike a pose with a Sea Lion at Ocean Adventure Subic.

Ocean Adventure Entrance Fee (as of 2016):
Adults – Php788
Kids – Php628

Additional Expenses (as of 2016) *optional:
Dolphin Photo Encounter – Php1,150 for a group of four
Sea Lion Photo Encounter – Php550 for a group of four

You may find other animal encounter options here.

By the time Ocean Adventure announced that they’re about to close the park, the minis were already swamped. We were planning to have a barbecue back in our rental home, but they both dozed off in the car and went straight to bed when we reached home.

We went ahead with our barbecue, except it was just the two of us. The Princess briefly joined us to draw her experience that day in her doodle pad, but she soon went back to bed.

Winding down with a trip to the beach

The next day, the minis woke up extra early because it’s their most awaited day–beach day!

All Hands Beach Resort is a family-friendly beach resort. The swimming area is safe for kids as the shore slowly slopes to waist deep water. There are various activities you can try here, but we opted to just let the minis swim while Daddy A and I hung out in the beach shack with some drinks while watching Donaire and Pacquiao’s fights. We love the location of the beach shack because adults have a clear view of the whole shoreline from there, so it’s easy to know where the kids are and if everyone’s okay.

All Hands Beach Resort Day Trip Entrance Fee (as of 2016):
Adults and Kids – Php400
Kids 3 years old and below – Free
Everyone pays Php150 SBMA fee

» Book your stay at All Hands Beach Resort «

The day trip entrance fee covers the whole day. However, since we want to be home before dark, we decided to leave by 12 noon. I wouldn’t say it was a waste because the minis both had a grand time throughout the four hours they played and swam at the beach. They even met a few new friends!

Our family trip to Subic was a simple one, but we all had lots of fun. If you don’t want an activity-packed trip so you’re not so tired by the end of the trip, this itinerary is for you. It’s budget-friendly, too, as you can see from the expenses I listed.

Tips for your family trip to Subic

  1. Try Airbnb for your accommodation. What’s great about using Airbnb is that you have an option to rent a home instead of a hotel room. This can lower your expenses because renting a home will allow you to cook your own food instead of eating out, which can be expensive especially in a place like Subic.
  2. To save money, bring water (the big blue jug you use with dispensers) and a small water bottle for each family member. You’ll save heaps if you have your own water since you won’t have to buy those expensive bottled ones in parks.
  3. If you have more time to spare, separate your activities into days. We went to Zoobic Safari and Ocean Adventure in one day. We think it would’ve been better if we visited the two parks in two different days. This way, you can go around without rushing.
  4. Allot a day for relaxing–especially if you’re going to stay in an apartment like the one we rented.
  5. Don’t forget your camera!!!

Kimberley Reyes

Kimberley Reyes is an Online Business Manager for entrepreneurs who are ready to get off the hamster wheel and step into their CEO shoes. On top of helping her clients get organized and scale their businesses, she is also happily busy raising her five kids with her firefighter husband.

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